Michel Parent and James Secord
Monday, 1st May 2017
Great Reference :
From: Mickey Parent
Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 11:15 AM
To: Cary Mcafee
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
Subject: Re: Richard Holmes Safaris
Glad to advise on our experience with Richard Holmes Safaris. Our trip went incredible well. Both my buddy and I got all the animals we wanted during this safari and even had some extra time at the end of our 6 days to do some photography and exploring (you definitely want to try their rope bridge for a 10 minute walk back from the main road). The land is over 8500 acres with very diverse landscape (plains, hills, heavy trees, etc).
The game is plentiful but not overly easy to get clean shots at which was just what we wanted. If you're after 5-8 game...a week will be plenty...and you'll get great trophies. His herds are well managed to always have good trophies to choose from. Our PH was John and he's a great guy...worked really hard to get us on the animals and knew we weren't adverse to working hard to get good trophies (If he's your PH, be sure to bring him a bag of candy..he has a real sweet tooth).
The Gemsbok hunts were the best involving several hours of stalking to get the right shot (they really bunch up and are pretty skittish) . Expect shots 150 out to 325. We used sitting and standing sticks but the grass was long a month ago so we mostly used the standing stick. It may be shorter now with winter coming on. Make sure you practice from them...at least 100 round to be proficient....its a must. I did most of my practice sitting and wasn't as proficient as my buddy and it showed.
My Kudu was hunted on neighboring land due to Richards herd being adversely effected by a major drought they had a couple years ago. It was only a short drive and I got him after a couple hours of glassing the mountains...330 yards...great experience. 5 guys, 1.5 hours to get him down...I'll never forget the experience. For cloths, a camo fleece was needed (or a light jacket) in the mornings (50f-60f), but by 8:30-9:00 it warmed up to 80-85. Short sleeve safari shirt worked great for me...very comfortable..with light weight pants. Any brown/beige camo will do, though we did spend a bit of time in the heavy trees, where darker would be better ...but we had no issues.
Richards place is buy no means a "5 Star" outfit. But you get plenty of wild game in the evening for every dinner which is great. The rooms are very comfortable and the staff really takes care of you..with laundry service every day if you want. We liked the camp area very much with the lodge, fire pit and open bar to sit around and relax. Leftovers are available 24 hours/day for snacking. They also have great SA wines to choose from. The conversations at dinner were always very interesting. Richard has a long history as a PH himself and has some good stories.
Like you, we got references before we signed up and and we got exactly the same as I'm giving you. Great game, very warm and friendly folks, and just an easy going camp to wind down in. I would absolutely recommend using Afton House..when you arrive in J'burg. Great service to spend the first night in SA as you won't make the flight to P.E....at least not if you come direct from Atlanta like we did. We split the room cost which was about 50 bucks each. Includes pick up, help clear you guns, out to restaurant for a great meal (this is extra), nice room for the night, breakfast and drop off at airport. Can't beat it.
SA Airway is a great service...and Richard met us at Port Elizabeth and then drove us the 3.5 hours north to his property. Dropped us off again at the end. He contacted Afton house to meet us again in J'Burg to clear our guns going home as well. You can be very comfortable in all the travel inside SA....they have it well arranged.
Hope this help make up you're mind.
P.S. We spoke to many folks going home by the way, and I think for much,much less money, we had as good or better a hunt as any of them...because we wanted to actually hunt. Many others we spoke to were in fixed blinds, box blinds by water holes or salt licks and such....which must have sucked. Some have monster trophies, but the experience was I what I remember...the stalking, the misses (my Impala gave me fits and I missed it twice) and the work to get my kudu...thats what I remember when I look at my pictures.
Hunted end well with Mickey and James getting all the game in their package and they are very happy.
Total 9 Trophys taken.
They spent the end going for drives viewing game and wildlife and looking at the ancient rock engravings on Clifton.
Also hunted a Springbok, 2 Impala and mountain reedbuck.
They each hunted a Gemsbok and Mickey got a Kudu - going well
Both Mickey and James got Black Wildebeests - great hunting !
They arrived safely with all the usual great help by Afton house and their rep with gun permits, bags, check in etc and have gone out hunting for their first day - it has been a dream for them to come hunt africa since they were very young boys !!
Michel Parent and James Secord will be with us for their south africa hunting safari on tue 25 april.